The Snow Child
The Snow Child is a magical tale of heartbreak and hope, exploring the concept of unconditional love and how our past affects our perception of reality
Paperback • 448 pages
Publisher Headline Review
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The story follows Mabel and Jack, a middle-aged couple who up sticks from ‘back east’ America to a remote homestead in the desolate Alaskan wilderness. Overcome with grief caused by the loss of their first and only child, they want nothing more than to escape their old lives and start fresh.
The couple throws themselves into work on the homestead, but the isolated landscape only makes their growing disconnection from each other more apparent.
As Jack spends day after day out in the fields and their relationship becomes strained beyond recognition, Mabel is left alone with her own thoughts. Her pain and loneliness grows stronger as time passes and she begins to question her purpose in life.
On the first night of winter and during a rare moment of tenderness, Jack and Mabel build a little girl out of snow. Carefully and lovingly they craft the child they wanted so much and the very next morning, Faina materialises. Feral child abandoned by society or a manifestation of their own minds, we nor Jack or Mabel are sure, and the couple struggle with their conflicting ideas on how to treat her.
Faina appears only during the long winter nights and never stays, much to the couple’s disappointment. In the spring when the snow melts, Faina sets off for the mountains, leaving Mabel and Jack waiting patiently for her return.
Throughout the story, we are never entirely sure if Faina is real or a product of the couples’ imagination and the vivid descriptions of the unforgiving and isolating Alaskan winter only add to the novel’s magic.
A perfect read for cold nights by the fire, The Snow Child will transport you into an icy wonderland where anything is possible if you wish hard enough.
Reviewed by Sheridan Smith